Daily Archives: December 5, 2016

Ahead Of Jericho

No music is up to the task
of shifting my loneliness tonight;
no painting or poem will soften
my walls. No dance, no stagework,

no acting, no more to be done
to change any of this.
I will sit instead on the couch
and think about slayings

and oil and erasure. 
I will not cry as it will make a sound
and that might become a melody
and that might be an invitation 

to community and I
can’t take community tonight.
I am alone tonight; we all
are, in the last analysis, and this

is indeed the last analysis. Millions of us
sitting on couches in silence,
as solitary as once-holy stones
standing in old fields, stones

not making any sound.  

Tomorrow we may wake 
to wind in the stones, 
whistling a new song.  We may 
choose to dance, we may choose

a pantomime love play
to perform among them, 
then march to the palaces
and tear them down while singing

Jericho-loud songs; but tonight
we all sit solo with silence and grief —
and at least for me, alone in my room,
it is exactly what I need

to prepare — a tight evening
of nothing doing.  A tight night
of lying in wait. A predawn
full of silent longing. A sunrise leap

out of dreams into our new world.


Ungovernable

Your name?  Forget it —
scrub it off. Call yourself instead
Father Time, Mother Element,
Baby Bear Jesus Rattlesnake-face,
and ask for more paper
whenever you are asked
to sign on the dotted line.  

Load your wallet 
with banana peels, use them
to try and pay for more bananas,
call it an investment strategy. When
someone suggests that banana peels
are not legal tender, toss a few to the floor
while screaming, “I bet if you slip on those
your ASS will be tender!” as you run
to the door.

Do you know how to change
your face? Teach a class in 
rebel cosmetics or plastic
insurgency — there are many
who will be eager to learn, many
who will be desperate to learn.

Prepare a feast for all,
invite all the long-forgotten dead 
to sit with the living, 
insist that the corpses must offer us grace
before anyone alive begins to gorge themselves.
Enforce this with a willow switch
to the lips of the greedy
and impatient.

At sporting events,
tell everyone around you
that the national anthem’s being replaced
by “The Nearness of You” and
sing it out, loud and clear,
plenty of flourishes, plenty of 
vibrato; drop to your knees
at the end and kiss the bleachers 
for holding you so tenderly so many times…

You look at me as if I’m joking…
I’m not, unless you think
revolution should be a joke,
in which case I’m joking —

or maybe you are appalled?
Why? Do you think,
seriously or otherwise,
that we’re currently
making sense? 


Praise Poem For Opening

Praise our open moments

whether we opened ourselves or were opened,
whether we see light or dark beyond, 
whether we are terrified by what we see through that opening
or are comforted, whether or not we then relocate
and step though into the Next Place, whether or not
we stay there —

praise them as necessary keys,
praise them as pain and ecstasy hinged upon each other —

whether or not we move through, 
whether or not we reseal and turn away,

praise them as we would any birth —

praise what change comes from them
as we are not unchanged,
are never unchanged afterward.